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I usually don't have too much trouble positioning teeny PE parts...the problem I have is that once I get the PE in position, I can't release the tweezers from the PE...which always seems to stick to one side of the tweezer tip or the other. I know this sometimes happens when I get too much CA on the PE, which then slops onto the tweezers, but I swear even when I make sure the tweezer tips are clean, and the area where I'm grabbing the PE is also clean, the PE still sticks to the tweezers (which are made of surgical metal, I think).
How do you guys get around this problem? It's gonna make attaching the microscopic vanes to the pitot of my Su-22 almost impossible....
Handling the smallest parts is indeed tricky business....frankly I've given up on some as "not worth it".
On the other hand - it can be done!
I use Blu Tack re-usable adhesive. Just take a tiny piece and stick it on the end of a toothpick, and you have something that will hold the part, be relatively easy to handle, and will detach after the glue sets.
Just press the part into the Blu Tack enough to be able to position the part - deeper is not better. Put the part in position and put a small amount of CA glue next to the mating surface and let it permeate. Use a small tissue to wick away excess glue, and I'd also highly recomend using a CA accelerant to speed up the bonding process while the part is positioned correctly.
Afterwards, use a que-tip and some de-bonder to clean up the area and you will have a spotless join!
Steel tools often develop some slight magnetism, which will even attract normally non-magnetic metals if the pieces are small enough. There are anti-magnetic and non-magnetic tweezers sold for use in electronics. I just recently bought a pair of brass tweezers to work with rare-earth magnets. I got them from a place called Widget Supply. http://www.widgetsupply.com/
Now if it's actually stick to the tweezers with glue, that's a different story. Maybe try dipping your tweezers in melted candle wax to form a coating that the glue can't stick to. Or maybe put a little oil or something on them so that they're not so clean and the glue can't form a good bond if it does stick. You just need the bond between the plastic and the part to be stronger than the bond between the part and the tweezers, that way the part will stay where you put it. I'd also try placing the part on the model dry, then applying super-thin CA and letting it capilary under the part, like you do with plastic and liquid cement. Sometimes you can form a temporary bond with PE and liquid cement, then come back with a little thin CA to lock it in place.
If your using nickle plated PE it might be that your tweezers are magnetized. Other than that the obvious solution is to be more careful with the application of the CA, I can't really think of any other way around it since everything is going to stick to sloppily applied CA. I assume you are using gel CA? The thin stuff will wick but it's also really hard to use with some parts since you have to hold it in place before you apply it.
Static electricity can cause PE to stick to metalic tools. In the laundry section of your supermarket you will find an aersol anti-static spray. A quick spurt around your work area solves that problem.
.....lots of excellent suggestions. Appreciate it.
I agree that sloppy technique (or lack thereof) is not helping the situation, so that's def part of the problem. But I also think there's got to be a better way, so I'll definitely check out these other tools and techniques. I'm working with Eduard Brassin at the moment, and using Zap-A-Gap medium CA+ (just grabbed it from my LHS). So maybe I should try a different glue, too?
I have had similer problems with placing PE parts. I secure or keep what I am working on steady. Then picking up the part, place it on or near the area it is being attached. I then use an applicator I made of fine stiff wire(I used a accu-punture needle, made a tiny loop on the end, and mounted it into an old paint brush handle)to place the CA, And I use the thin stuff.
The loop get clogged from time to time, I just use a lighter and burn out the dry stuff. I used the techniec to add railing on a 1/700th ship I've been working on (ship Chat and Theme Pics). I got the loop down to about 1/64th diamiter.
Good luck with what ever you try.
I usually take a piece of 240 sand paper , fold it and close the tweezer tips on it with some firm pressure and pull the paper out . Repeat a few times to clean the tweezer tips of any paint, glue etc. also take your etched part and pass it through a lit match to remove any photo resist residue. The above will help. Static charge can also cause these problems.
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